India might import over 1.5mln mt of coarse corn to feed poultry

Usually an exporter of corn, India is most likely to import the coarse corn  in 2019 year due to a deficiency in domestic production with import figure to be around 1.5 to 2 million mt, according sources from agri- market.

“India will be importing coarse corn from Ukraine and countries from Southern Africa. India only imports non-genetically modified corn and that limits options”, said a spokesman from leading poultry association of India said.

Poultry farms, livestock industry and starch manufacturing companies together consume nearly 75-80% of country’s corn production.

“The poultry industry alone requires around 1 million mt of corn imports to meet last year levels,” declared the official.

India is all set for the imports and has already signed deals to import 100,000 mt of corn from Ukraine said the source.

According to the sources, the Government of India has currently imposed 60% import duty on corn, but the importations are expected to be made under a Tariff Rate Quota. A TRQ condition when a country allows imports of certain quantity of a particular good at a reduced charge rate.

Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India is the country’s state-run international trade agency, which has issued a circular this February requesting regulars such as starch companies and livestock feed buyers to send quotes for their corn requirements.

The government officially has yet to announce duty-free imports.

“India, the seventh-largest producer of the coarse grain, was hit by poor rains and pest infestation”, said  Subhranil Dey, New Delhi-based grain analyst working at SMC Comtrade.

Dey expects output of corn for the year 2018-19 (July-June) to be at around 16 million mt this summer, noticeably lower than 20.4 million mt harvested at this time last year. India harvests corn in two seasons  namely summer and winter. Summer corn is harvested  in September and the winter corn is harvested from March onwards.

Prices of corn in India have risen considerably to almost 70% over the last one year. In Devangere, a key market of the coarse grain in Karnataka, corn prices were quoted at maximum of Rs. 20,400/mt ($291.1/mt), which is nearly 76% higher than a maximum price of Rs.11,600/mt during the same period last year, according to data from Agmarknet.com, an official govt website.

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